A salute to the Awesomer Army! My name is The Awesomer, and this is my friend: Aether.
And I'm the best out of these losers: Nether.
Shut up, Nether. This is our second attempt at Faded Gold; a side-story we were writing when we wrote our first series: The Battle of the Sky Army and the Squid Army. For all you new recruits: Welcome to the Awesomer Army, and make sure to have fun.
All your cash and extra belongings go to me, and only to me. No exceptions.
Nether's the mentally challenged one. Now, come here to get everything you need: weapons, armor, knowledge on our enemies, and your official Seal of Awesomeness. You are now officially an Awesomer Army Member. Now go out there, and begin your battle.
Our old enemies—the Squids—have joined arms with the Barrels, and we need recruits fast. So get out there, and help kick some major ass!
In the meantime, while you wait for your deployment, enjoy the story!
Run! Left! Don't stop, Stephano!
Slide! Use your sword!
"Who the vol baise are you?"
Duck! We'll answer everything later! Just keep ru—!
The dark, looming form of a Grunt appeared around my next corner, staring at me with cat-like eyes. With its large hands that were permanently draped with brown papery skin, it grabbed my throat and lifted me from the ground. I clawed at my neck, my sword clattering to the dirty cobblestone ground. The monster pulled me close to its face, letting out a deep, angered growl from what was once a jaw. My stomach churned like the ocean, and my vision was already beginning to swim around in a blur of dull colors and shapes. Maybe I could reach a sanity potion. Maybe I could escape his grasp and regain my sanity...
Shit...! Shit! SHIT! SHITSHITSHITSHITSHIT!
The Grunt drew back its arm and let out a defiant roar before pitching me down the hall. I tumbled through the air, barely drawing in a breath before slamming into the fungus-covered wall. Dust and mold rained down on me, landing in the small puddle of blood that steadily became larger. My leg burned like fire, and I let out a pained shriek. My left leg had just been fractured, I had two voices that were panicking in my head, the monster was running back towards me, and my sword was gone. I was merde pas de chance.
The Servant barreled towards me, raising its left arm above its ugly head. Four bloody, midnight black claws glinted in the torch-light, barely showing my fearful reflection. The claws slowly ripped into my chest, my flesh exposed and already bleeding. My screams turned inhuman, and I slumped against the wall, ready to die. The Grunt raised its arm again, ready for the final kill. I weakly raised my arm, tensing my muscles and waiting for my death.
The monster of Brennenburg castle brought down his claws, but stopped only inches from my head. I opened my eyes, looking up at the monster that was souly created to kill me. Was I really still alive?
"Ce qui la baise, Grunt?" I murmured tiredly. "Aren't you going to kill me?"
What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? We're alive.
Oh shit. But what is he gonna do with us now?
My vision swam and grew darker as another dark figure stood beside the monster. It raised a fist, then slammed it into my left temple. Darkness enveloped me in a warm, painful blanket.
"I'm gonna end it here, Bros! Like and Favorite if you enjoyed, subscribe to become a Bro today, and I will see you next time! Here comes the Bro-Fist! Byyyyyyyyye!"
With a quick click on the left button on my mouse, I slumped back in my chair. Another recording of Amnesia: Dark Descent done. Finally. I glanced at the small clock next to my desk.
Shit. I should have been in bed by 1:20! I saved my recording, closed out of my game completely, and shut down my computer. Marzia would be pissed tomorrow morning if she found out that I had played games through all tonight. I pulled off my headphones and stretched my tired limbs, my eyes already drooping with sleep. "Sleep. Yeah. That's what I need," I murmured.
I stood up from my chair and began to shuffle tiredly through the dark to my room, where Marzia was sleeping. The window just next to the bedroom showed a view of all San Paolo, Italy. Beautiful cobblestone walkways led to old churches and restaurants. Small lights started to blink in the distance. People were going to bed, as if following my example.
I stopped halfway there and glanced back at my desk. Maybe if I did some quick editing, I could be in bed by 4:30, and I could have a day off from YouTube. Marzia kept saying how unhealthy it was to spend my days on the computer 24/7.
I pressed the power button on my computer and placed my headphones over my ears. Instead of the usual username/password login, I instead greeted with a multi-colored circle. A frustrated growl escaped from my mouth. My computer was old, and every once in a while it would do a virus-scan. It wouldn't even allow me to log into my computer. "Again?" I demanded. "This is gonna take forever!"
I let out a yawn, leaning back in my chair. I might as well wait it out. Sometimes—if I was lucky—it would only last five minutes. I watched the hypnotizing wheel as it circled around on my screen. One minute passed... two...
"Maybe I can rest my eyes..." I muttered to myself, letting my eyelids close down. "Just for a little while..."
Another few minutes passed, and I finally let my head fall forward on my chest. "Sleep..." I murmured.
"Felix? Felix, il mio amore?"
I opened my eyes, rubbing away the sleep and looking up to see Marzia. My girlfriend wasn't dressed yet, still in her gown with yellow ducks (an inside joke for my channel). Her long caramel hair was loosely tied up in a tangled bun, showing her sparkling brown eyes. A frown sat on her ruby-red lips, looking at me with slight concern.
"What were you playing this time?" she demanded, putting her hands on her hips. "Were you doing another co-op with someone? Cry? Ken? Minx?"
I yawned again. "No one this time," I answered. "I was trying to do some editing so I could have the day off today, but... I got the Rainbow Wheel of Death again."
"Di nuovo? Questo sta sfuggendo di mano!" she said in Italian.
"English, Marzia," I reminded.
"Sorry. But you got the wheel again? This is really becoming a problem. Just get a new computer!" Marzia pulled out her bun, letting her hair tumble over her shoulders. "And maybe that's the computer's way of reminding you that you need to spend some time away from YouTube."
I nodded. "You're right. I'll just upload another co-op I pre-recorded. How about I take you to your favorite restaurant today?"
Marzia looked at me, straight in the eyes. "Really? You would do that today?"
"Of course," I said. "My treat."
Marzia smiled. "Okay. How about for lunch? I think you should upload the videos and take a nap."
"Yeah," I nodded. "Sounds like a plan."
"Great!" Marzia walked off. "I'm going to take a quick shower, Felix."
I stood up from my desk, quickly dragging my mouse across the screen. There was something new on the screen below the rainbow wheel: "BUFFERING..."
"Buffering?" I mumbled. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"What was that, Felix?" Marzia glanced over her shoulder.
"Nothing." I gave my girlfriend a smile. "Just tired."
I looked back at the screen. Something new popped up against the blue screen, only to vanish seconds afterwards. An electronic voice blared from the screen: "NETHER. EXE IS BUFFERING..."
Something seemed to click in my mind, and a heavy feeling grew inside of my skull. I sat down hard in my chair, clutching my head. "Ow... ow... ow..."
...HOLYSHITWHATTHEFUCKJUSTHAPPENED!? AETHER! STEPHANO! WHERE ARE YOU!?
The voice from the computer monitor droned on: "AETHER. EXE IS BUFFERING..."
NETHER! I found you! Are you okay? A great, paranormal force slammed into my head. My vision danced with yellow spots before returning to normal. OW! That hurt!
Where's Stephano? What happened to him? Who's this fucktard we're with now!?
It's him, you idiot! It's who we've been looking for! Master Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg! It is an honor to meet you!
I didn't speak, still recovering from the sudden headache I just had. Who were these voices in my brain? Just a side-effect from lack of sleep? I really needed some rest.
Maybe he's basking in my awesome glow. Or, he doesn't understand a word you're saying. I'll translate for you Aether: Bemästra Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg. Det är en ära att träffa dig.
"I speak English, Mister... whoever you guys are," I said, slowly realizing that these voices were staying. "I appreciate it though."
Oh! I apologize Master Felix! the more polite voice said. I am Aether, and this is my friend, Nether.
'Sup? Where did you take Stephano?
"Stephano?" I murmured. "Who, or what is that?"
Your own creation, Master Felix. We were just with him in Brennenburg castle... where are we, Master Felix?
"Don't call me 'Master Felix,' " I said. "Call me Felix. Um... you guys are in San Paolo, Italy. Or my brain, if you want me to say it specifically."
"2012?" I rubbed my head. "Am I going insane, or are you actually here?"
Do you have another computer, Felix?
"Yes. In my girlfriend's bedroom," I answered. "Now let me ask some questions: What year did you guys come from?"
1839, asshole. Now take us to the other computer.
Nether, shut up. Let me talk. Sorry, he's a little... determined? Something like that. Master Felix, please take us to your second computer. Nether and I are to be possibly expecting something...
"Alright," I said calmly, slowly standing up to walk to my girlfriend's computer. "So... Aether and Nether. You guys are from a place called Brennenburg castle... that sounds familiar."
We'll explain everything when we get to the other computer. Hurry up!
My blood chilled. "Marzia!" I ran to my bedroom. "Marzia!"
I nearly kicked open the door, watching as Marzia hid behind the bed, away from her computer. Like something from a sci-fi movie, still forming in pixels from the computer screen, a man slumped unconscious against the wall. He was about my age, maybe a little older. Dark red blood stained our carpet. His clothes were interesting to look at: shimmering gold fabric that made an Egyptian robe and a cloth turban that covered his face. The robe had three long slash wounds that bled on the floor. An Egyptian sword lay at his side, splattered in blood. The most interesting part: every part of exposed flesh was gold.
"STEPHANO. EXE IS BUFFERING... STEPHANO. EXE IS BUFFERING... STEPHANO. EXE IS BUFFERING..." an electronic voice said cheerfully from the speakers.
Stephano! We found him! Stephano!
"That Stephano!?" I demanded.
"Felix!" Marzia ran from behind our bed and tackled me with a scared hug. "Who is that? Why did he come from my computer? Che cazzo sta succedendo?!"
"English, Marzia!" I reminded, holding her tightly in my arms. "I don't understan—"
Relax. She's just scared. Would you kindly check on Stephano to see if he's breathing?
"Marzia," I started calmly. "Grab your cellphone and call a doctor, okay?"
"Yes." She stumbled out of the room, trembling like she was in the center of an earthquake.
I walked towards the body, which was possibly my friend Stephano. "This is Stephano? My fake character I made for my channel?"
Yes. Please, just check if he's breathing.
Kneeling down, my hand shook as I placed it against his chest. Ragged breaths caused his chest to rise and fall, slowly. I had no doubt that he was in pain, and he looked as if he was barely holding on. His chest oozed steadily with blood, with some of it now turning into thick and gummy. I grabbed his wrist and felt for a pulse. One-two; one-two; one-two...
Shit, Aether. I thought we had this under control! The Bro wasn't supposed to catch up to us! You said we were being sent to get him out of Brennenburg safely!
Calm down, idiot! He's breathing, okay? Just keep calm, and see if you can communicate with Mr. Chair, got it?
"Felix!" Marzia ran into the room, her cellphone in her hand. "An ambulance is coming. Who is this man?"
I swallowed. "He's—"
No! Don't tell her! If she finds out, she's gonna do something bad!
No, Nether. Just tell Marzia who he is, Master Felix.
"Um..." I wiped a nervous sweat from my forehead. "He's Stephano."
"Stephano? You must be joking!" Marzia grabbed my shoulder. "He doesn't exist!"
"That's what I said!" I agreed. "Go get the first-aid kit and we'll see if we can help fix some of his wounds. Be sure to bring a dish towel too."
My Italian girlfriend ran to the bathroom. I carefully inspected the three wounds across his chest: about half an inch deep in each one still bleeding. The wounds were about 20 minutes old, maybe older. His face had several gashes that were already scabbed over. All of his limbs seemed okay except for his left leg, which was no doubt broken. His ribs and neck were intact, which seemed like a good sign.
"Felix! The ambulanza is here."
Two paramedics in bright orange jackets walked in, carrying heavy oxygen tanks, green bags full of medical supplies, and a bright blue backboard. A third one in a yellow jacket carried a clipboard, walking over to me. "Mr. Felix. Posso farle alcune domande sul paziente?"
Before I could say that I didn't know any Italian, Marzia stepped in. "Sì, signore. Posso dirvi quello che sappiamo sul paziente. Lo abbiamo trovato a soli cinque minuti fa..."
While the man in the yellow jacket scribbled down what Marzia was telling him, the other paramedics had strapped Stephano to the backboard and were administering oxygen. One of the paramedics tried to rub the gold from Stephano's skin, but looked baffled as it didn't come off. The bleeding had obviously slowed down greatly, and it seemed like Stephano was relaxing some. The paramedic that spoke to Marzia finished the evaluation and snapped his fingers. "Venire. Dobbiamo lasciare."
The two paramedics that were treating Stephano lifted the backboard from the ground. Marzia grabbed my hand. "Felix. They want you to go with them." Marzia looked over that the newly treated Stephano. "They want to do some more questioning."
I didn't ask her anything else as I followed the three paramedics from our apartment. After a quick ride down the elevator, all four of us stepped out into the summer morning. It was cloudy outside and the cars on the road seemed sluggish and tired, as if they were still waking up. The curtains in other apartment buildings were still drawn shut, and even some of the shops that were normally open at this time were still closed. Everything was still asleep, excluding the bright white and orange ambulance that sat in the streets.
I hoped into the back with the other paramedics, who slammed the doors shut behind themselves and signaled for the driver to go. The ambulance gave a shudder, then rocketed down the streets. Looking back through the window towards my apartment building, I watched as Marzia ran out the door and watched us go.
"Stephano? Stephano? Where are you?"
"Why did you leave us?"
"Why did you abandon us to die?"
"Are you a traitor?"
"Do you work for the Barrels?"
The darkness surrounded me like a box, leaving me vulnerable and in danger. The painful moans and screams of my best friends and allies invaded my thoughts, nothing to block them out. I tried to run, to find them, to tell them that I would never leave them, but the darkness seemed to forever be endless. I kept running, despite knowing this as a fact. There was an end to the darkness somewhere here. This darkness had a light somewhere, as dim as it could be in this shit-hole.
The sanity-breaking growl of a Grunt echoed, scattering the voices of my friends. My sword was at my left hip, and fear forced me to unsheath it. I brandished the golden Egyptian blade with as much courage as I could send for at my will, still running through the darkness.
"Aww!" a new voice cooed. It sounded exactly like a little girl. "The Great Stephano is actually afraid! How adorable!"
I ignored the voice and took a random turn, as if I were running through Brennenburg castle. Another growl from the Servant erupted behind me.
"So cute!" the little girl's voice squealed. "You running around in my doll house like a startled mouse!"
"I'm not scared, baiseur!" I shouted, turning right.
"Oh! Don't say swears! I like you, and you should like me!"
"I wish I could actually play with you, but I'm too big! I'll have to watch you play!" The little girl giggled. An annoying, mocking giggle. "Oh, but... you look so lonely! I'll give you a new playdate!"
I took a turn to left only to find myself face-to-face with Grunt. It seemed to smile, despite not having a mouth to smile with. With a quick flick of its wrist, I found myself thrown backwards like a useless scrap of wood. Tumbling through the air, I landed hard against an invisible surface. A sense of déjà vu crossed my thoughts. Wasn't my left leg supposed to have suddenly broken?
The monster walked casually in my direction, almost mocking me. I stood up with difficultly, turning right and stumbling into a run. Where were those two voices from earlier? They claimed that they were really sent to guide me! I felt the true dangers of real fear fill my body.
"Don't go! The game has just started!" the little girl pouted.
Another monster materialized in front of me, raising its four deadly claws, ready to shred me into dozens of bloody ribbons.
Your sword, you dumb buffoon. A new voice whispered in my mind. It's in your hand, Stephano.
That voice. It was so familiar. My fear melted away, leaving only anger. With a swing of my sword arm, the Servant's head dropped to my feet, staring at me with cold dead eyes. The body dissolved into rays of dark blue light. I felt a sense of sudden pride fill me. "You're not welcome to play with me!"
There you are! That's the real Stephano I know!
"Aw! Don't play mean! I'm going to take away your toy until you learn to play nice!" the girl said.
My sword grew heavy and began to smoke in my hands. In pain, I dropped my only weapon, watching as it burst into flames and melted into a bubbling puddle of gold. Anger filled my chest again, and I looked upwards. "Give it back imbécile!"
"Now, let's invite your playdate over again! Have fun!" The girl did that annoying giggle again, and another Bro formed out of the darkness in front of me.
"Shit!" I turned on my heels and ran as fast as I could into the darkness, listening to the Grunt's footsteps coming closer and closer no matter how fast I ran. "Fuck! Fuck you! Fuck your stupid doll house and everything in it!"
I felt the hot breath of the monster, causing all the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. Shudders of fear and nothing but fear ran through my body, and I ran faster. "GET ME OUTTA HERE!"
"Play with him! He'll be nice! I promise! Teeheehee!"
The dark, bloody claws of the Grunt snagged the back of my tunic, and I was effortlessly lifted off the ground. My arms grasped at the collar, where I started to choke. With a swing, I was looking at the ugly, God-Awful face of a Grunt. It let out a growl and narrowed its eyes. My ears rang, and my vision blurred as my sanity drastically dropped.
"LET GO OF ME YOU LITTLE SHIT!" I shrilled.
Let go of my brother, Grunt.
The monster perked up, as if it heard the voice in my head. With a hesitant growl, it dropped me to the ground. I took deep, gasping breaths, feeling my sanity already returning. I kept my gaze down and kept from looking at its face directly, hoping to no longer anger the monster. Instead, it gave me one last look before turning and walking away.
Stephano. Stand up, and walk away. Don't stop or look back. Just walk away.
Trembling in the utter shock that the Grunt had actually followed the voices directions, turning on my heels and walking in the opposite direction. After only two minutes of walking, a dim white light flickered in the distance. Exited, I ran towards it. Light. Finally! Light in the pit of endless darkness. To my bliss, I found myself standing in front of a small orb of light, just the size of my fingernail. I looked around. "Is this it?"
"No!" the voice of the little girl said. "Don't touch that! You'll die and our fun with stop!"
I hope to see you soon, Stephano. I promise, I will find you again.
"Of course!" the little girl's voice boomed. "Gonzales! YoU wIlL pAy!"
Run, brother! I will hold her off!
The voice faded, and I was left alone in the darkness with only the small orb. I now had a choice: walk back into the darkness...
...or touch the orb.
Where is he? Where is he? Where the FUCK is he!?
Calm the fuck down, Nether. Their healing him. They're like human laudanum potions.
I sat outside of a recovery room, tapping my foot against the linoleum tile. I listened to the quiet sounds of the hospital: the constant beep that meant someone was still alive. Wheelchairs and beds that had both healthy and sick people. The quiet and urgent whispers of nurses and doctors. I took a sip of stale-tasting coffee from a styrofoam cup, looking up at the covered window that Stephano and two doctors were behind. It's already been an hour. How much longer could it take?
I looked up again. A nurse in a clean white uniform stood outside of the room where Stephano was. She gave me a kind smile. "Dr. Moretti would like to speak with you."
I stood up and followed the cheerful nurse into the room. In a sterile white bed Stephano lay, still unconscious. His breathing was no longer in short ragged breaths like earlier, but easier. On several monitors that attached to Stephano—where vitals would normally be displayed—signs of death showed. There was no heart beat, no blood pressure, no anything. But he was clearly alive. Was something wrong with the machines?
A male doctor stood next to the bed, staring at a clipboard in total confusion. He looked up at me and smiled. "Mr. Kjellberg. It is good that you are here," Dr. Moretti said in broken English. He offered his hand.
I took his hand and shook it. "A pleasure to meet you, Dr. Moretti."
"Thank you. Now, I have some things to discuss about... your friend here."
Yes! Tell us what the fuck is wrong with our friend! Tell us now!
Nether, shut up!
What was Stephano's problem? The tibia bone (whatever that was. I'm not a doctor) had managed to somehow be fractured only slightly. It was something Dr. Moretti called "a perfect fracture." At the very least, it would take 10 to 13 weeks to heal. Stephano's wounds across his chest weren't as bad as I thought, and they were already stitched up and bandaged.
"That's good!" I said. "Stephano is fine then!"
"Yes," Dr. Moretti said, giving a quick cough. "But... what is he?"
"He is a living medical mystery!" the doctor exclaimed. "The machines can't measure his vitals, he has gold clearly in his body, and he has trace amounts of a different organisms DNA in his wounds. An organism we have never imagined before." Dr. Moretti pointed at Stephano in the bed. "And he is clearly human!"
Clearly insane. Kill him.
Stop it, Nether! He's just excited.
You're right. I'm over exaggerating. Torture him, burn him with fire, THEN kill him.
The doctor gave another cough, looking at me. "Mr. Kjellberg... you clearly know what this... thing is. Do you know what this phenomenon of a person is?"
Okay. NOW I'm panicking. Tell him that Stephano is... uh... um... FUCK!
I scratched my head. "I don't know either, sir. Um... I don't think he's fully human."
"Than WHAT is he!?" the nurse demanded.
"I'll tell you what I am!" a heavy French accent shouted.
Our conversation drew to a halt as the doctor, the nurse, and I turned towards the bed. Sitting up, smirking almost confidently, was my friend. The nurse immediately walked out of the room, eyes wide. Dr. Moretti dropped his clipboard. I just stared in utter shock.
"Ellos," the golden man started. "I am Stephano."
And so begins the remake, of Faded Gold.
Favorite and follow if you enjoyed, and make sure to send us a review. We love your opinion.
We sincerely hope you like our remake, and please tell us if there are any improvements that can already be made! We want everything to look great to everyone!
A final salute, and we will see you soon!
So, tell us, Awesomer Army Members: Was—
Was Nether too sexy for the women? Girls, girls! Please! Be a little patient! There's enough of me to go around!
Fuck off, Nether!
This is The Awesomer, signing out!
This is Aether, signing out!
And this is the sexy one, Nether, signing out!